Future Cat Lady

Submit your questions for Dear Hoopers here 

Dear Hoopers,
I’m 24 and recently moved to a new city. I’ve been single for 5 years and have been on and off dating sites which have proven to be unsuccessful. I keep matching with guys who look wholesome (not huge jerks) but end up ghosting on me after a day or two. In the past 4 months, I’ve gone on dates with 3 different guys who I met in person. In each situation the dates went well and I felt like we clicked, but each ended up telling me they were emotionally unavailable. Why does this keep happening to me? Why are guys so cold? I’m trying not to come on too strong and make it seem like I’m looking for “my future husband”. I just want someone to give me some sort of attention. I feel like giving up. Any advice would be great.
-Future Cat Lady

Dear Future Lady,
Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all. If you feel like you’re back at square one after each date, then it may be time to re-prioritize your dating objectives. Desiring marriage one day is a fine goal. However, approaching each date with husband goggles may cloud your ability to have a good time!

The relationship that matters most is the relationship you have with yourself. It also makes those “emotionally unavailable” guys seem like a lesson, rather than a failure. It doesn’t mean that you should give up dating, but start living YOUR life so that you’re neither actively pursuing love nor passively waiting.

When you start living your best life and fulfilling your needs you won’t be searching for attention on a date.


When you start living your best life and fulfilling your needs you won’t be searching for attention on a date. That need will already have been met. So rather than dwell on the past, keep moving forward working on self-love and self-worth. Because you deserve better! Start thinking that way.


Dear Future Lady,
Dating is difficult! People are getting into dating to see what they can get out of it (just like you are). There is no relationship built and they don’t know much about you yet. Some people take this as free reign to go on as many dates as they want. They approach it with a mindset that they don’t owe you anything and you don’t owe them anything. So if a date isn’t perfect, they walk away to look for the next opportunity. I don’t necessarily think this makes them a bad person, it just means that they weren’t the right person for you.

Much of this is connected to the rise in online dating. Online dating has improved dating through increasing the number of potential partners with whom you can connect. However, this increased access has likely had some unintended consequences as well. Research has shown that when men have more options, they are more likely to slow down and wait (delayed gratification). Waiting isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but suggests that the current dating landscape (particularly in larger cities) can be very picky. This can be frustrating and can begin to feel hopeless if you allow it to be.

This can be frustrating and can begin to feel hopeless if you allow it to be.

-Dr. Ryan

But when you look at dating from a numbers angle, you can get a whole different perspective. For example, there are over 800,000 single (unmarried) men in Chicago. Even if we assumed that half of them were in some sort of a dating relationship that would still leave 400,000 available men. Therefore, if you went on dates with 3 different guys in the past 4 months that would only cover 0.001% of available men. There would still be 399,997 more men to go before you had exhausted your resources.

Take a deep breath, remind yourself that this will take time, and have fun with it all. Given that you are in a new city, I would also strongly encourage you to find non-romantic relationships. A romantic relationship can be hit and miss but investing in friendships is a much more stable process. Finding friends isn’t always easy either but can truly be worth it when you find your tribe.
-Dr. Ryan